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Travers Brothership Turns 5 at Pisgah Brewing

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Travers Brothership Turns 5 at Pisgah Brewing

Bands Plays Pisgah June 29, 30

There was a night recently where Kyle Travers got a nod of recognition from one of the greats.

Ike Stubblefield, who is considered the master of the Hammond B3 organ and played with a who’s who of popular music, was on stage with the Travers Brothership.

Kyle and his brother, Eric, have played together for years and started the brothership several years ago. The alternative and funky group now includes Ian McIsaac (keys, percussion) and Josh Clark (bass, vocals).

They had been Stubblefield’s backing band and he repaid the favor by playing at the Travers Brothership’s Sunday night jam at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain.

“He played something on the keys, and I just closed my eyes and played the exact same thing back to him,” Travers said. “When I looked up and opened my eyes he was making the funniest happy face at me and even stuck his tongue out at me and laughed. I think it was truly a nod of approval so to speak, an older experienced player being proud of a younger player coming up.”

The Travers Brothership is certainly on the uptick. They’ve played across the country in recent years and have a big two-night gig at Pisgah Brewing coming up to celebrate its five-year anniversary.

The first show is at 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 29 and then Travers Brothership plays at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 30. The Juantee, a Boston-based psychedelic band, will open the show on Friday night. Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door or you can catch both shows for $15.

Kyle Travers, who said there will be plenty of guests at the show, took some time recently to chat about the group and the upcoming shows.

the828: Let’s start broad and generic – what’s the band been up to in the past few months?

Travers: Touring hard all over the US, and writing songs, we are preparing to record our second album after the success of the first one. 

David Simchock photo

David Simchock photo

the828: You’re playing back-to-back nights at Pisgah, how will the shows be different?

Travers: First off the material will vary greatly, by now we have a vast catalog of songs, original and covers, we may even bring back some of our really old material from our first EP as a treat for our fans that have been there from the beginning. Secondly, we have quite a few special guests coming out including Nicky Sanders of the Steep Canyon Rangers, Josh Blake of the Tuesday Night Funk Jam Band, and many more. The night of music will vary depending on which guests are there to help celebrate our anniversary with us.

the828: How big has Pisgah been for your band? If I’m right, I’ve seen that you guys play there a lot.

Travers: Pisgah and Travers Brothership has a long running relationship. Pisgah has been a vital component to our success. The audiences there are some of my favorite to play too, just an awesome group of people. It’s our home base, so to speak. Counting the Travers Sunday Jams we hosted there for over a year, we have performed there more than anywhere else in the country . We have also had some of our most memorable musical experiences on that stage, we have had numerous critically acclaimed and/or Grammy Awards winning artists there making music with us. Some truly spiritual and free music has been made there, and we hold Pisgah close to our hearts.

the828: I read where the death of Greg Allman really hurt you guys, what did the Allman Brothers music mean to you

Travers: The Allman Brothers are the main reason my twin brother Eric and I started forming bands and making music as teenagers. We love everything about them. What they stand for, how they fought through with music that was not commercialized and eventually won their success after years of hard touring without “selling out” so to speak. We still agree “Live at The Filmore East” is one of the best records of all time. Those guys play with so much spirit and heart, and they are always saying something when they touch their instruments or sing a lyric. There is no BS. 

As far as losing Greg, he was a hero to all of us in the band. Every time he came around North Carolina, and we weren’t gigging we would go see him no matter what. He was a bone fide badass for sure. There was something about just watching him walk on the stage, sit down at that Hammond B3 and sing that was magical and inspiring. It was incredible and I am so thankful that I was able you see him as many times as I did. There was nothing fake about that guy, he was the real deal. Truly an american music legend. 

IMG_0166KMGthe828: What’s it like to be in a band with your twin? Do y’all have those twin moments on stage where you know what each other is thinking?

Travers: Being in a band with my twin brother is truly a blessing, there are definitely moments of telepathy. We play a style of music that is definitely improvised at certain points, and that gives us room to breathe and speak our minds with the music. When we start doing this, and we are clicking perfectly together that night, him and I are an unstoppable force, two minds working together as one. We have hardly separated from each other since birth, so our bond is pretty much unmatchable. And I think that shows through the music, whether it’s me taking a solo and him and enhancing it with his drumming, or us singing Harmony together. There’s definitely some magic there, And I am extremely grateful to be able to experience it.

the828: Your debut, “A Way to Survive” came out last year, what has the response been like? How happy was the band with the final product?

Travers: I think the entire band is extremely content with that record. That is the first time we have ever felt that way with a recording of ours, but we did it right this time. We made sure we had good material together, and truly found some amazing people to work with including Asheville’s very own Matt Williams at his studio, The Eagle Room. The response has been better than I ever imagined, we won Homegrown Music Network’s studio album of the year award, and we also were voted Best Alternative Band in WNC in 2016. I don’t think that would have happened if it weren’t for that record. We also have received airplay on lots of radio stations all over the country including our favorite local station, WNCW. So it’s always cool to be back home off the road, driving to go get some groceries or something, and to hear your songs come on your favorite radio station. I’m definitely content with the album, but I think our best work is yet to come, this next one is going to be even better.

the828: What’s happening with new music?

Travers: As far as our new music, I don’t want to talk about it really, I’d rather folks come out and hear it and experience it then take my word for it.

Jason Gilmer

Jason Gilmer is a national award-winning writer living in Asheville. He spent a decade as the prep sports writer at the Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal and has written one book, "Where Champions Play: Spartanburg County Prep Football." He's been writing about the Asheville music scene for several years and contributes to magazines in North and South Carolina.

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